The Chart du Jour

Bomb Time

May 25, 2001

By, Barclay T. Leib

Chart produced using Advanced GET End-of-Day

Disney spent $145 million to make this weekend's release of "Pearl Harbor" (the largest movie budget ever) in the hope of striking it rich on a Titanic-like repeat. But the picture is likely to bomb, and so too should Disney's stock.

On a scale of 0 to 100, one early movie preview gives "Pearl Harbor" a paltry 17. "Pearl Harbor has a bland love story, no conflict, a well-known outcome, and no star chemistry," one reviewer states. Yet another advises: "As impressive as the two immense battle scenes are, they're just not worth suffering through the other two hours of the movie to witness." Still another reviewer wasn't even impressed by the battle scenes, writing: "[It's} a bloated, waterlogged catastrophe that looks and feels phony in every detail."

Disney has spent a huge amount of money not only making this movie, but marketing it. They are pushing this flick as an important piece of nostalgia that everyone should see. But America may not be in the mood anymore for such Hollywood schlock. Reviewers, and likely theatre-goers are instead ready to bury this film.

With the animated Atlantis set for release in mid-June also likely to meet a so-so response, Disney is a stock we think will see $24 sooner rather than later. Ever since the crowds gave the re-release of Fantasia 2000 a soggy reception in January 2000, it clearly hasn't been a Disney-like world on Wall Street. Nor should it be in the near future.

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